Happy Birthday, Joe Strummer!

11:21 pm.

Today would be Joe Strummer’s sixty-first birthday.

pic_mtv_rockumentary_joe Joe+Strummer+joe images (2) joe and mick munich 77

 

Joe Strummer (born John Graham Mellor) was one of the most important figures of the Punk movement in England in the seventies and eighties. Best known for his position of lead singer for The Clash, he also went on to do other groups, including The Pogues, The Mescaleros, and others. He died at age fifty from heart issues.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feH9NVtYtJM This is a video I found on the Youtube of The Clash performing live in Munich in 1977.

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No More DOMA

11:28 am.

Human-Rights-Campaign-776875

Well, I think most of you, my readers, are from outside of the U.S., and therefore not directly affected by this occurrence, but I would just like to announce that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was just struck down earlier this morning by the Supreme Court! It was deemed unconstitutional.

This is a really monumental step on the road of progress and equality for my country, the United States. DOMA is–was–the law that banned the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriage legalized by the states. States can still individually make their own laws about the matter on the state level, but thanks to the 5-4 ruling this morning, there is no longer an overarching ban. This was said by Justice Anthony Kennedy in the majority opinion:  “By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.”

The Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law in 1996 by President Bill Clinton. DOMA prevented gay couples whose marriages were recognized on the state level from getting the hundreds of benefits enjoyed by straight couples under federal law.

Like I said before, this is really important. I believe that equality is essential to a functioning society. I have friends who are gay, and this must be so important to them, even more than it is to me. Because this repeal of DOMA means that my gay friends are that much closer to equality, and it is that much easier for them to marry who they love.

So, cheers!

Oh My Bean! An Award!

1:10 pm.

Today has turned out to be a Very Nice Day. Know why? Well, besides the fact that it is another snow day (the second in a row!), I was just awarded the Very Inspiring Blogger award by InkPaperPen! She has a great blog over there–filled with meaningful discussions on important topics.

very-inspiring-blogger

Rules:

1.) link back to your nominator (check!)

2.) put image in post (check!)

3.) share seven facts about yourself:

-I dabble in photography.

Stargirl (by Jerry Spinelli) is one of my top favourite books–it ought to be on everyone’s must-read list, regardless of age!

-I am a very organizational person.

-I am an overachiever, and I hold myself to Rather High academic standards.

-I love old stuff…that musty smell, the stories held by everything…

-I love finding pennies (and other coins), and I’ll go out of my way to pick it up.

-I’m frequently told my sneezes sound like those of kittens.

4.) Nominate other bloggers and tell them you have. Here’s a list of blogs which I think are fun, interesting, or just plain lovely:

The Penny Project

Rarasaur

Photo Booth Journal

The Future is Papier Mache

WTF is Photography?

Bucket List Publications

Daina’s Book

Spoon Humping

Ooh, Double Significance!

10:27 am.

Wowzers, today is significant for two reasons. As many of you probably know, this is Martin Luther King Junior Day. On this day his birthday, we commemorate all he did for the Civil Rights Movement and equality between black and white people.

If you want to hear the audio of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, his most famous and memorable speech, here is a link: “I Have A Dream”

Now, today is doubly significant because today is also the day that my country’s president Barack Obama is being re-inaugurated for his second term as President. I think it’s highly appropriate for his inauguration ceremony to be held on MLK day, he being the first black president of the United States. Don’t you?

Trivia time! Did you know that President Obama is the only president in U.S. history to take the Oath of Office four times? His first time was on his first Inauguration day; the second time was because Chief Justice Roberts had messed up the words the first time, so the President had to take the Oath again; the third time was yesterday: it is in the Constitution that the president must be inaugurated on the 20th of January at noon; however, yesterday being a Sunday, the actual ceremony is being held today, and the President will take the Oath for the fourth time today.

1.) Happy Inauguration Day, America!

2.) Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day, everyone!

Malala Yousafzai

12:48 pm.

In my school library, I saw the Person of the Year issue of Time magazine. We have it at home (my mom is a subscriber), but I hadn’t read it in depth before. So, with a forty-minute lunchtime with nothing planned to do, I picked it up and flipped through it. I ended up reading the article on Malala Yousafzai, who was Time‘s Person of the Year Number Two.

Let me tell you, this girl is amazing.

She is a 15-year-old Pakistani girl who is the daughter of a newsman, a precocious learner, and a role model for girls, leaders, education advocates, and everyone in between.

She spoke out loudly and proudly against the Taliban and against the lack of education for girls in Pakistan and developing countries all around the world. When she was just 11 years old (eleven!), she gave a speech titled “How Dare the Taliban Take Away My Basic Right to Education?” People feared for her because of her “confronting the Taliban so brazenly”, as it’s worded in the article in Time (page 100).

Malala has made so much happen for education. She has supporters including Gordon Brown, former British Prime Minister, Megan Smith, a Google Vice President, and Mark Kelly,  former astronaut and husband of former senator of Arizona, Gabby Giffords, who also survived a shooting to the head. These supporters helped to found the Malala Fund, named after her, to give grants to organizations and people working in education.

Because of her outspokenness and lack of backing down, the Taliban ordered her to be assassinated. On 9 October 2012, an assassin shot her in the head while she was riding in a “school bus” (no more than a glorified truck–Pakistan was, at that point, spending a mere 2% of GDP on education). However, the bullet grazed her brain, and went behind her left eye, down to her jaw, and ended up being lodged just above her left shoulder blade.

She is was recovering in a hospital in Birmingham, England, where many gifts and cards have been sent to her. Her family has received over 13,000 dollars to fund her recovery! She had been in the hospital for two months, and was just discharged from the hospital on the fifth this month. Instead of the Taliban silencing her, they did the opposite: her story and words are now more powerful than ever.

Malala is more than a girl–she is a hero. She is so inspiring, brave and courageous. She risked her life for her cause, and she’s on the road to recovery. She is just plain amazing. That’s why I signed this online petition to nominate her for the Nobel Peace Prize–Malala deserves it so much. It only needs 146 more signatures on it.

This girl is going to move a mountain some day, I just know it. Even if she stays in England where there is more security for her, and even if she retires from activism and raises a family, her message will not quiet or slow down. I am honoured to be growing up at the same time as she is.

Here We Are, At The End

10:05 pm.

Wowzers! In less than two hours, this year will be over. I almost can’t believe it, but y’know, I’m ready to stop writing “2012” on everything I write a date on.

This year’s been rather nice for me. I enjoyed it. I saw Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand performed in Grand Rapids; I made new friends; I found great treasures at my beach; I started a blog (of which I’ve become rather fond); I was awarded, along with some of my classmates, an academic letter for having a high GPA (3.963) lat year (I want to bring back letter cardigans! 😀 ); I got everything I wanted for Christmas; and, again, I made new friends.

I look forward to this coming year, and hope it to be better than any before.

Happy New Year’s Eve, Everyone! (Look at that, I even capitalized “Everyone”, you guys, my viewers, are so important 🙂 )

Love,

Superkat!

P.S. – This is my year in pictures:2012 My Year in Pictures

Liebster Award, For Me?

1:38 pm.

WOWZERS!! I won the Liebster award! Thank you so much, PajariGirls, it is an honor!

 Liebster Award

Okay, so I will answer the questions now. 🙂

1.) Does YOUR sister pick on you, too? Nagging and such?

YES!! My little sister, Abby, is always bothering me. She annoys me, and then I get blamed by my mom for supposedly instigating.

2.) When was the last time you shoveled poo?

Um…Never?

3.) What would be the first thing you’d do if you won the lottery?

Hm… I’d probably jump up and down and scream, then text or call everyone, then blog about it. The first thing I’d buy, though, would probably be a thing of Nutella (she typed as she licked Nutella off a spoon… 😀 )

4.) How YOU doin’? (It’s just not the same without an up-nod and a bad Sopranos accent.)

Very well, and you? 🙂

5.) What do you want to be when you grow up?

I want to be a surgeon, doctor, physician…Generally, in the medical field.

6.) If you could live anywhere on earth (and take whomever you wanted along), where would it be?

I would probably move somewhere in the middle of Europe, so that I could easily take a train and be in another country. it’s not like that in the U.S….We’re unnecessarily large 🙂

7.) What do you admire most about yourself?

I probably admire most about myself my sense of humor, and my intelligence. Not being ostentatious, though 🙂

8.) What would you most like to change about yourself?

I would like to change how irascible and snarky I can be at times.

9.) What are you waiting for?

Interesting question. Right now, I am waiting for winter break (only three more days!) There are more, but those can get personal-ish.

10.) Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging initially because I wanted to record my summer in a different media than just writing in a journal. I also wanted to see what the online community is like, as I don’t do facebook (no thank you) or twitter (would never get around to it), or any of the others. So far, I love it! 😀

11.) What is the most-watched movie/DVD in your collection?

Well, that really depends on the time of year. For summer, it would be The ‘Burbs (which no one has seen or heard of! Surprising, considering it is a Tom Hanks movie). For autumn, it would be Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas, or other Tim Burton movies. In the summer, I watch Elf and Christmas Vacation the most. Not sure about spring…

Well, that’s me!

And now for the Eleven Random Facts About Me:

1.) last year for fun, I memorised the first 173 digits of pi. No joke!

2.) I had never eaten a turkey sandwich until Spring Break of fifth grade.

3.) my favourite number is nine, because it is the first odd number that is not prime.

4.) I say “bean” a lot. Like, “good bean”, or “sure beans”, or “hey, bean [greeting someone]”, or “story of my life as a bean” (my subtitle)

5.) my chemistry teacher thinks I do drugs. Which, by the way, I absolutely do not. I’m a very innocent, boring child really.

6.) I sleep with socks on.

7.) I was such a little brat as a child, you have no idea. 🙂

8.) I actually act like a child quite a bit nowadays. Not the bratty part, though 🙂 but, for example, I love, love, love finding pennies on the ground/floor.

9.) For the record, I actually read the book Alice in Wonderland before seeing either of the movies 🙂

10.) Everyone always says that my sneezes sound like those of a kitten.

11.) I can be highly energetic and happy (that’s how I mostly come off as), but I can also be lazy and sad and stuff.

So yeah! Now for Phase Three:

I nominate…

1.) Bean Sprowt Crocodile

2.) Hover Craft Doggy

3.) Erewon

4.) Rarasaur

5.) Patina and Company

6.) Life PortfOlio

7.) Photo Booth Journal

8.) Spoon Humping

9.) Okay, I’m really sorry, but I really don’t know any other blogs to nominate…Sorry everyone!

As far as questions go…

1.) Do you play any instruments?

2.) Did you ever say anything rude to an adult when you were young(er), without knowing why it was rude?

3.) What is your favourite television program?

4.) What colour socks are you wearing right now? (If no socks, imagine them!)

5.) What do you want to be when you grow up? (if you’re already grown up, what did you want to be when you were young(er)?

6.) How long have you been blogging?

7.) what is your favourite thing to blog about?

8.) What was the last thing that made you laugh really hard?

9.) Have you ever pulled an All Nighter?

10.) How do you sleep? (lying on back, side, stomach, et c.?)

11.) What is the most recent book that you’ve enjoyed?

here are the Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • When you receive the award, you post 11 random facts about yourself and answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • Pass the award onto 11 other blogs (while making sure you notify the blogger that you nominated them!)
  • You write 11 NEW questions directed toward YOUR nominees.
  • You are not allowed to nominate the blog who nominated your own blog.
  • Plus also, make sure you copy the image onto your blog!